Should the absolute worst happen – your pet dies you believe is caused by a pet food – there is one thing you can do to help hold the pet food manufacturer accountable and possibly save other lives. Have a necropsy performed on your pet.
Several years ago when Mollie Morrissette and I were trying to figure out why jerky treats were killing dogs, we needed the kidneys of a dog that jerky treats killed. Through a independent pet store owner, I learned of a little dog – Gigi – that was dying linked to the jerky treats. One of the most difficult things I have ever had to do as a pet food consumer advocate was to ask Gigi’s owner – a total stranger – if when her little dog dies, can we have her kidneys for testing.
Gigi’s owner was devastated, but wanted to do what she could to help get Chinese imported jerky treats off store shelves. She agreed. Mollie had a scientist lined up, the pet owner kindly donated her dog’s kidneys, her vet took the tissue, and Dr. Cathy Alinovi prepared the tissue as was needed. We worked together to try to find a cause. We didn’t find what we were looking for, but we tried. We all tried our best under the worst of circumstances.
Guilty pet food manufacturers get away with their crimes almost every single time. Pets die and no one is held accountable. The reasons – we don’t have the evidence to link the pet illness to the pet food and we can’t get state and federal authorities to investigate. But perhaps if we had more evidence, the evidence would force state and federal authorities to investigate.
So – in the absolute worst moment – I am asking everyone to think about the evidence. When you are grieving and your heart is broken, please consider having a necropsy performed on your pet. To save lives of other pets and to hold a pet food manufacturer accountable for their pet foods – a necropsy on your pet is needed.
Save the pet food and the packaging. Report the pet death to FDA as soon as possible, attach the necropsy results with your complaint. If your veterinarian finds anything of concern, you might consider asking your vet to hold the pet’s body until you have spoken with FDA. Inform the FDA you are holding the body for their investigation (ask them to notify you as soon as possible if the body is not needed so that you can properly bury your pet).
Collecting information is key to any investigation. As heartless as it might seem on the surface, a necropsy performed on one pet – could save the lives of countless more pets.
But again we have the challenge of – if we have a necropsy performed on our pet, will any regulatory authority care? If we save the pet food and the packaging, if we make the gut wrenching decision to have a necropsy performed on our pet – will FDA or any State Department of Agriculture investigate the pet food after we go through this?
I can’t tell you yes they will. Unfortunately – painfully honest – I suspect authorities will more often than not, ignore the evidence that was painfully gathered. But – we have to try.
Knowing that authorities rarely investigate, knowing that pet food/treat manufacturers most often ignore consumer complaints – one more thing needs to happen. When FDA receives a necropsy result on a pet, the pet owner and FDA are the only ones privy to that information. If the FDA received – example – ten consumer complaints with a necropsy result all showing the same type of liver disease all linked to one brand of pet food — no one else will know if the FDA decides not to investigate the pet food.
But imagine if those same ten consumer complaints with a necropsy result all showing the same type of liver disease all linked to one brand of pet food would become public information. Public pressure would (hopefully) force FDA’s hand to investigate the pet food to find a cause for the same liver disease that resulted in the death of those ten pets.
Until we can nudge FDA to become more transparent with consumer complaints, our consumer association – Association for Truth in Pet Food – can hold these medical records as public information.
So here I am again, asking the most difficult question. Should the worst happen, and your pet dies – you believe to be caused by a pet food or treat – will you have a necropsy performed on your pet? I am also asking – will you to forward the necropsy results to Association for Truth in Pet Food to hold as public record? Tough questions. But tough questions that need to be asked.
We are not on a pet food witch hunt. We only want the truth. We want dangerous pet food products removed from store shelves – dangerous pet food ingredients removed from FDA approval. We want to save lives. I am hopeful we can do that if we work together.
To report a pet food/treat related illness or death to FDA – Click Here.
To report a pet food/treat related illness or death to your State Department of Agriculture – Click Here to find contact information for your state.
To contact Association for Truth in Pet Food – Click Here.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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